Surprising Ways The Luxury Travel Industry Will Change In 2020

Hold my Mai Tai.

Surprising Ways The Luxury Travel Industry Will Change In 2020

Travel bloggers Marie Fe and Jake Snow have been proponents of 'experiential travel' for years...

Gilded globetrotters saw numerous changes in 2019. These included ‘affordable’ business class, Airbnb being attacked by Amsterdam, Santorini losing its credibility, post-luxurious Barcelona hotels and forbidden helicopter thrills at LAX.

This is set to continue in 2020, with travel company Luxury Escapes releasing a report this week called “Travel 2020: Forecasting The New Decade Of Travel,” which highlights the emerging cultural (and technological) wrinkles Australian jet setters will be affected by in 2020, and the next decade.

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Of particular interest to D’Marge were the implications for the luxury travel industry, which data from over 19,313 respondents (including Luxury Escapes consumers and “the broader Australian population”) suggests is in for some big changes. As Cameron Holland, CEO of Luxury Escapes says, “We hope it starts conversations about the next decade of travel as the global industry evolves in the years to come.”

“Two things are certain: more change is on the way, and it certainly won’t be boring.”

The main three findings, in fact, were quite surprising. A far cry from the stereotype that luxury travel is all about the latest ergonomic comforts and smart technology, it turns out cashed-up suitcase luggers are turning towards experiential travel above all else. That in mind, the report found the top three areas of luxury travel development in 2020 will be fancy restaurants, room upgrades and massages.

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Tastebuds and lumbar region tingling? These are the 10 ways luxury travel is set to change in 2020, according to Luxury Escapes.

1. Fancy Restaurant – 43%

Forget private jets or even business class upgrades; the number one thing 43% of travellers said they were going to prioritise in 2020 was their tastebuds.

2. Room Upgrade – 32%

Close behind eating at fancy restaurants as a priority for luxury travellers, the Luxury Escapes report found, was scoring a room upgrade.

3. Massages – 32%

Quelle surprise: it wasn’t jet skis, French Castles or boutique Maldive resorts that made it into luxury travellers top three desires for 2020, it was the humble massage. Just goes to show: earning enough money to holiday somewhere nice takes its cervical toll…

4. Special Shopping Purchased – 29%

This one is perhaps the only item on the list that is not a surprise at all. Who doesn’t like a good duty free splurge?

5. High-End Dining Experiences – 27%

Not content with reporting “fancy restaurants” as their number one priority, luxury travellers doubled up on their belly-busting bucket list, with 27% of them calling “high-end dining experiences” another travel feature to look out for in 2020.

6. Private Tours – 25%

Why join the tourist hordes when you can do it solo(ish)?

7. Spa Day – 23%

Keeping on with the ‘doubling up’ trend, a significant portion of travellers said that in addition to massages, they wouldn’t mind a cheeky bit of extra pampering, either.

8. Flight Upgrade – 22%

In our eyes the most surprising addition to the list, not in its existence but in its lagging at number eight. We thought this is what everyone wanted, and would have put this at number one.

9. Bucket List Experience – 21%

Vague but essential. But in tune with the theme of experiences not things.

10. Airport Lounge Access – 19%

The world of chicken edamame salad and bottomless mimosas is yours… if you can muster the status credits.

Overall Implications

Of the trends, Luxury Escapes wrote, “True luxury travel has changed from extravagant to experiential. With the overall market for luxury goods and experiences set to reach an estimated A$466 billion in spending worldwide by the mid 2020s and outbound luxury trips from Australia alone projected to grow 6.2% in the next decade… luxury travel has historically been something for special occasions, [but is] now a way of life for many.

“With three in ten Australians (rising to five in ten Luxury Escapes members) spending at least A$10,000 on an international trip annually, the rise of luxury meets our interests.”

Taking onto that, Anna Guillan AM, Australia Consultant at Kerzner International told Luxury Escapes, “There is a heightened craving for authenticity and a strong desire to peel back and reveal the layers of local culture that may have been shrouded by generic tourism.”

“There is a fundamental need to reconnect with one’s self, the community, and the world at large and to create experiences that are real, fulfilling and enriching,” she added.

“The shift from developed destinations, manufactured experiences, lavishness and opulence has moved to authentic, local, regional and crafted. True luxury travel has changed from extravagant to experiential.”

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